As Amazon prepares to branch out with new headquarters sites in two cities, some employees are concerned what this expansion, and the company's size overall, could ultimately mean for the retailing giant. Their CEO's words on the matter may not be entirely reassuring. "I predict one day Amazon will fail," Bezos said at an "all-hands" employee meeting on Nov. 8, per a recording heard by CNBC. "Amazon will go bankrupt. If you look at large companies, their life spans tend to be 30-plus years, not a hundred-plus years." Indeed, several Amazon employees confided to CNBC they were worried the company is getting so enormous that antitrust violations, as well as the possibility of government regulation, could be a concern.
But despite his dire-sounding prognostication, Bezos isn't suggesting throwing in the towel. Instead, he told workers, their task is to put off the company's demise as long as possible, specifically by making sure to "obsess over customers." "If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, that will be the beginning of the end," he noted. "We have to try and delay that day for as long as possible." Half-jokingly (we think), Bezos did touch upon a product with the power to save companies from a premature death: beer. "Most of the companies that are multi-hundred-year-old companies are breweries," he noted. "I'm not sure what that says about society." (Thousands of Saudis are calling for an Amazon ban.)